Daily Archives: November 10, 2008

Lazin’ on a sunny afternoon

… with some Internet tidbits.

  • Realist is back with a new blog.  Check out his first post, on Georgia’s SEC defensive stats.
  • Alcohol, SEC football and firearms – kids, if we’ve told you once, we’ve told you a thousand times, the most inevitable words in a story like this are “alcohol was believed to have been a factor in the killings”.  Sigh.  (h/t EDSBS)
  • You think Les Miles wishes he’d have pulled this redshirt off a week sooner?
  • Texas A&M’s season really stinks. (h/t The Wizard of Odds)
  • Auburn’s players still remember Georgia’s dance moves from last year’s game.
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2 Comments

Filed under College Football, Crime and Punishment, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, The Blogosphere

Requiem for a heavyweight

Sometimes stats do tell a convincing story.

… But with Vanderbilt and Kentucky still ahead, the Vols (3-7, 1-5 Southeastern Conference) could still reach a new low. They’re one loss away from piling up the most losses in the program’s more than 100-year history. Before this season, Tennessee had lost seven games only once, in 1977.

Aside from tying Tennessee’s record for losses, this team holds several other distinctions.

It’s the first in program history to lose to a Mountain West opponent. And averaging just 16 points per game, it’s become the least productive since the 1964 squad, which averaged eight a per game.

The Vols have 47 bowl appearances, the second most in NCAA history. But for the second time in four years, they won’t be making a postseason appearance.

Tennessee also hasn’t finished dead last in the SEC since 1954, a season when the Vols went 1-5 in the conference. Unless they can find a way to win in their last two games, that’s exactly where they’ll be.

That’s epic bad.  Nobody in his or her right mind saw anything close to this coming before the season started.

My only question is whether it’s karma.

1 Comment

Filed under The Glass is Half Fulmer

Talk about the passion.

You know, it’s really getting tiresome hearing Pete Carroll whine about how the BCS done him wrong.  He’s in a conference where his team is clearly the dominant kid on the block year after year, he doesn’t have to face the risk that schools in the Big XII and SEC do in having to win a championship game even if the best teams survive a grueling regular season, and it’s still not enough.  He wants a playoff so that Southern Cal can have a mulligan when it plays its one game a year where it fails to show up against a lesser opponent and loses.

That ought to bring the edge back to the Southern Cal program.  Hell, Pete will probably figure that a two-loss USC is still good enough for an eight team tourney.

And this again brings us back to what’s bad about a college football playoff with more than just a very few teams in it.  I don’t always agree with HeismanPundit, but he’s dead on when he posts this:

–Ya know, I’m getting tired of the endless clamor for a playoff, especially from coaches, pundits and President-elects who have no problem with making college football more like the NFL.  Does anyone really think that going to an 8-team playoff would make everyone happy?  It’s a fantasy.  There would still be teams left out and still be coaches and fans bellyaching about how unfair it was.  And all we would have to show for it would be a regular season that would no longer be the most meaningful in sports.  Furthermore, it would tilt the power in college football away from parity and back to the elite teams, who have the depth and talent to gut their way through an extended season.  That means teams like USC and Oklahoma could lose two games with regularity and still win titles.  Is that what you want?

Not me.

… I think that people who want a playoff don’t really understand college football in the first place.  The sport is all about passion and the arguments that arise from that passion…

Think about that when you watch this clip of the last few seconds of the Penn State-Iowa game.

Does anyone really want to argue that this game would have had as much impact on the fans and the players in the context of an extended playoff?

I like to think that I really could live with a four team playoff – and I could, if that were locked in stone – but isn’t it likely that four won’t be enough to satisfy everyone?  Is it worth giving up the last six seconds of Iowa-Penn State to make Pete Carroll happy every year?

29 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, The Blogosphere

Defensive about the defense

I understand where Richt is coming from when he has this to say:

“People don’t get it. People think they know, but they don’t. I’d love to say that if people really knew football, they’d know we’d been blitzing, they’d know we’d been playing zone, playing cover one, playing robber, fire zone. If they really knew football, they wouldn’t be saying the things they say, but they don’t.”

He’s right about that.  Besides, his team is in line for another ten-plus win season and a top ten finish.  That’s not exactly chopped liver – most folks who were fans of the program in the mid-90′s would have willingly sacrificed an appendage for those kinds of consistent results.

Buuuuut… it’s hard to deny that some of the frustration is deserved.  Read the player quotes after the UK game.  There are a ton of comments about poor communication and bad execution.  Ten games into the season, should that still be happening?  And given that it is, why is it happening?  And why are the coaches still seemingly trying to figure out why it’s happening?

So, when Richt goes on to say that “…We’ll always go back and look at things we’ve got to do better, whether it’s a coaching decision or player execution. That’s just how we handle it…”, that’s great as far as it goes.  But looking at a problem and doing something effective to correct it aren’t the same things, sad to say.

I think it’s fair to say at this point that this team will go as far in ’08 as the offense can take it.  Whatever is wrong on the defensive side of the ball seems to be so deeply ingrained that it’s very unlikely that it can be stopped and turned around in three games (although there will be some time to prepare for the bowl game).

Which leads me to the one intruiging quote from the teleconference:

“It’s the same basic defensive scheme we’ve had since we got here. It’s not like there’s some kind of philosophical issue. The philosophy of our defense hasn’t changed hardly at all in eight years. But we haven’t been in this spot in the past.”  [Emphasis added.]

What spot is that?  I will say it’s good that Richt thinks he’s at a point where there’s a big enough problem that it needs special consideration from the coaching staff, but I suspect for a lot of people the question in the back of their minds right now is what took you so long?

I also suspect that this is going to make for more of an interesting off season than we may have expected, even if much of it is kept out of the media.

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UPDATE: Maybe this is what Richt means by “this spot”.

… Kentucky, Florida and LSU each tallied 38 or more points in the last three weeks.

You have to go back more than a century to find the last time that happened against Georgia. All the way back to 1900 in losses to Clemson, 39-5, North Carolina, 55-0, and Auburn, 44-0.

You can talk about youth.  You can talk about injuries.  You can talk about the schedule.  But you have to figure that over the course of a century, none of those factors are exactly new to this year.  In other words, that’s a pretty shocking stat.  Put it this way:  even Kevin Ramsey never managed that hat trick.

Now loyalty to staff and staff stability are commendable things in a football program.  But Mark Richt isn’t a stupid man.  I have to believe that he knows what happens to a head coach at Georgia whose teams can’t play defense.

8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

My Mumme Poll ballot, Week 11

Remember, you slackards, there was no Sunday night game this week, so we’uns are back on the regular schedule and your ballots are due by tonight.

Anyway, here’s mine:

TOP FIVE

  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Southern California
  • Texas
  • Texas Tech

BEST OF THE REST

  • Georgia
  • Missouri
  • Ohio State
  • Oklahoma
  • Oklahoma State
  • Penn State
  • Utah

COMMENTS:

  • This may have been the easiest ballot of the season to assemble.  Penn State’s loss to Iowa made the top five selections a relative breeze.
  • I only struggled with number twelve.  I’ll question every week whether enough of Georgia shows up to win, but in the end, the record with that schedule was sufficient to claim the slot.
  • I’ve got no idea what I’ll do if Oklahoma beats Texas Tech.
  • Again, it’s very nice not to have to agonize over parsing which school is #2 and which school is #3.
  • And once again, no ACC (North Carolina’s getting some national respect, but it’s got that loss to Virginia) and no Big East (ugh).  They’re not worthy!

1 Comment

Filed under Mumme Poll